Multiple Options for Addiction Recovery
In the 1730s Native Americans organized the first abstinence-based recovery circles. Since that time, a variety of groups have come and gone, but the efficacy of self-help meetings for addiction recovery has been well researched and proven to be effective in many ways.
In the 20th century the most well known mutual support groups were based on the 12-step model, the most widely available of these being Alcoholics Anonymous. For many years, the 12-step model was an integral part of the treatment program for many of those who sought professional assistance to help them quit an addiction. Over time, the public grew to perceive that regular attendance and participation in 12-step meetings was a requirement of recovery. However, as addiction research has progressed, we now know that there is not one program that is helpful for everyone. People are different and have different needs. For example, many people do better with a model that does not involve a spiritual component; many people do better with a self-empowering approach. We also know that people seeking recovery from addiction have a better outcome when they are able to make informed choices about the mutual support groups they attend.
Many paths to recovery
There are a number of support groups and alternatives to 12-step recovery that stand ready to help people overcome their addiction to substances and behaviors. Continue reading
Ten Good Mental Health Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol
Consuming alcohol may make matters more difficult for people suffering from mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and impulse control disorders. Even having a couple of drinks a day carries consequences that affect brain and body functioning, leaving a negative impact on mental well-being. Sometimes, people feeling high amounts of stress, pain, anxiety, and impulse turn to alcohol to find short-term relief, without realizing that using substances can limit the progress of reaching long-term emotional stability. Alcohol may cause moodiness, lower inhibitions, upset the cycle of restorative sleep, increase the symptoms of depression, and interfere with prescribed medication. Avoiding alcohol completely may be a good idea if you have concerns with anxiety, depression, and impulse control.
Source: Graphic designed by Dr. Jesse Viner, MD, executive medical director of the Yellowbrick Treatment Center for young adults.
Discover the Power of Choice! Your behavior is your responsibility and you have the freedom to choose. For even more reasons to consider abstinence as a goal and why experts often recommend it, visit the SMART Recovery website.
SMART Recovery® supports (1) abstinence from any substance or activity addiction and (2) going beyond abstinence to lead a meaningful and satisfying life. Our 4-Point ProgramSM addresses addiction itself (Points 1 and 2) and quality of life (Points 3 and 4). Points 3 and 4 are the primary focus of discussion in many meetings. To remind you, Point 1 focuses on motivation to abstain; Point 2 on coping with craving; Point 3 on problem solving (when practical problems can be resolved) and emotional self-management (when practical problems may not be “solvable”); and Point 4 on building a life of enduring satisfactions (a meaningful and purposeful life).
SMART Recovery® encourages attendance by individuals in any stage of recovery. Those maintaining long-term abstinence will likely be most interested in discussions of Points 3 and 4. Those in early recovery will likely pay more attention to Points 1 and 2. SMART Recovery® recognizes that individuals may be in different stages of change, at any one time, across what is likely to be a range of addictive behaviors. For example, one participant may be ready to stop drinking but not ready to stop smoking. Another participant may be ready to quit cocaine but not ready to quit marijuana. Both participants may be drinking excessive caffeine and overeating, and be unaware that these are also addictive behaviors.